Hacienda Rancho Humo is 1068 hectares (2639 acres) of wetlands, dry tropical forests, mangroves and habitat for 373 species of birds, mammals and other wildlife in the heart of Nicoya Peninsula’s “Blue Zone”. The site includes an elegant 10 room boutique hotel for overnight guests and the infrastructure for day-trip visitors on guided tours. Rancho Humo borders the Palo Verde National Park, the Tempisque River and the village of Puerto Humo with 200 residents. Over many decades the site’s ancient role as a secluded natural habitat for local and migratory fauna and flora was destroyed by neglect, irresponsible cattle farming and “backpack” tourism.
In 2005 the Grupo Interamericano, a leading Central American “consortium” of foundations and learning institutions based in Costa Rica, purchased Rancho Humo to provide a remote site for the rest, relaxation and activities of the Group’s owner, family, friends and employees. Grupo Interamericano’s founders, Dr. William Salom, his wife Patricia Borge and their three sons, Pedro, Jose and Felipe, were drawn to this hacienda in Nicoya because it was possible to restore the site to its historical role as an important regional wetlands site and wildlife habitat.
Their efforts led to the recovery to their natural state of 800 hectares of mangroves, wetlands and dry tropical forests, and the return of its native and migratory wildlife inhabitants. They also successfully re-established the tropical dry forest corridor between the Tempisque River and the nearby hills that facilitates the seasonal movement of wildlife. One of the project’s best confirmation of success was the return of its abundant and diverse bird population, including the endangered Jabirú, Latin America’s largest wetland-based bird.
The success of the recovery program convinced the Salom family that Rancho Humo should be open for the enjoyment and benefit of others. In 2015, and after receiving the required construction and environmental permits, they built “The Estancia”, a ten-room luxury boutique hotel, and the infrastructure for controlled day-tours, two important initiatives carried out with due regard for their environmental impact and the integrity of the property as a nature preserve. They hired local laborers and granted scholarships to residents of nearby Puerto Humo in hospitality, culinary arts and the English language, which enabled their employment in Rancho Humo.
Rancho Humo is now a resilient wildlife habitat and a world class bird sanctuary, celebrated by Costa Rica’s government, its environmental protection agencies and a growing list of local and foreign visitors. Its wildlife population is large, diverse and growing. A comprehensive inventory of the biodiversity confirmed the presence of 84 species of birds, 31 species of mammals, 58 species of flora and almost 200 species of insects, aquatic animals, amphibians and reptiles.
In 2018 The Salom Family decided that it is proper and necessary to expand Rancho Humo’s role as a singular site in the Nicoya Province: they are now committed to developing Rancho Humo’s potential as a citizen of the blue zone communities of the world. And to that purpose, the Group will pursue the following six goals:
A 60 villas hotel will be built on the hill that overlooks the Tempisque River and the Palo Verde National Park, on what used to be the old backpackers / camping site. Rancho Humo will also offer privately owned sites for seasonal or permanent residence.
Rancho Humo will become a center of immersion, study, and investigation into best practices for healthy living and longevity.
Health & Wellness
Rancho Humo will become a community of residents, tourists and scientists that applies the lifestyle principles of the blue zone communities of the world, ideally to promote longevity, health and wellness and the physical and spiritual wellbeing of its residents and visitors.
Rancho Humo will partner with public and private sector organizations and foundations involved in the global initiative to improve standards of living through improved nutrition, clean and nutritious water and mental health.
Rancho Humo will be an active participant in the global initiative to promote health and wellness.
Rancho Humo is and will continue to be a resilient and sustainable natural habitat and refuge for regional, migratory and local wildlife. Minimal environmental impact is a priority.